Blogging about Making Dances

Wendy Perron has a thoughtful blog post on the Dance Magazine website about young choreographers who blog about the process of making dances. She says:

There’s an annoying new trend of blogging about the process of making a dance. I am not talking about Tere O’Connor, who writes very considered contemplations about dance making, based on his decades of experience. I am talking about young choreographers, anxious to be in the public eye, who think that writing about what happened that day in the studio will somehow 1) bring them a wider audience and/or 2) make them a better choreographer.

Read the rest in Dance Magazine.

Though Perron is talking specifically about dance, she could be talking about anything creative. There’s something about the creative process that is messy and capricious, that demands disorganization. The constant rationalization and explanation of that process can undermine the kinds of associations and juxtapositions that come from chance and ambiguity. Certainly not all creative people develop in that way, I’m sure lots of people can create from a very logical and methodological place. But still, it is probably to a young artists advantage to spend less time talking about what they’re doing and more time just immersed in the doing itself.

4 Responses to “Blogging about Making Dances”
  1. jray745 says:

    I don’t know–I came away with completely the opposite take. First of all, who is this person to go around telling other people what to do? Second of all, the argument makes no sense–if in fact the process of creating dance, say, is sub-verbal, that the work cannot be expressed, then what’s she complaining about them saying? Alternatively, if the work can be expressed in writing, what’s the harm in exposing it? I’ve met far too many artists who wrap their work in veils of obfuscation often because the actual idea they had is ridiculously simple or even dumb. That’s not the only reason not to discuss it, for certain, I don’t want to make blanket statements, but really…

    The other thing is that when it comes to art forms like dance, one of the biggest barriers to new audiences is the issue of literacy with the art form. Anything that helps break down the barrier between the artist/art and the audience is good in this regard, because the only thing being broken down is the idea that the work is too complicated and hard to understand to be worth the effort of engaging with.

  2. danciti says:

    Yeah, I think Wendy was really off-base in her criticism there. Certainly live-tweeting your rehearsal would be counter-productive and take you away from the process at hand but sharing the process during creation often helps to clarify and distill your ideas. It unquestionably helps in building an audience and sharing the process may be the best gift that the artist can give. It’s just clear how long it has been since Wendy has been involved in the process and how out of touch she is with how young contemporary artists live and work.

  3. I don’t know how thoughtful it was. It struck me as reductive and arguably thoughtless:

    Glad, though, to join the conversation.

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